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NCLB Outrages

West Wing and the U. S. Department of Education

Ohanian Comment: Art imitates the Democratic National Committee. West Wing seems to be supporting NCLB, which isn't surprising, considering that the Democratic National Committee, Progressive Policy Institute, et al, are gung-ho for the federal control of education policy.

||||| GOVERNOR ROBERT RITCHIE: My view of this is simple: we don't need a Federal Department of Education telling us our children have to learn Esperanto, they have to learn Eskimo poetry. Let the states decide, let the communities decide on health care, on education, on lower taxes, not higher taxes. Now, he's going to throw a big word at you - "unfunded mandate." He's going to say if Washington lets the states do it, it's an unfunded mandate.
But what he doesn't like is the federal government losing power. But I call it the ingenuity of the American people.

MODERATOR: President Bartlet, you have 60 seconds for a question and an answer.

BARTLET: Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded mandate" is two words, not one big word. There are times when we're fifty states and there are times when we're one country, and have national needs.
And the way I know this is that Florida didn't fight Germany in World War II or establish civil rights. You think states should do the governing wall-to-wall. That's a perfectly valid opinion. But your state of Florida got $12.6 billion in federal money last year - from Nebraskans, and Virginians, and New Yorkers, and Alaskans with their Eskimo poetry. 12.6 out of a state budget of $50 billion. I'm supposed to be using this time for a question, so here it is: Can we have it back, please? |||||

— West Wing

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INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES


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